FLAD and the Observador launch a series of interviews with in-depth accounts of various Portuguese public figures on issues related to Mental Health.

TheMaze – Talking Mental Health is part of FLAD’s commitment to increase information, rejecting stigma and awareness that Mental Health is not only important, but essential.

The first interview was with Marisa Matias and is now available in article and video.

From the first signs that she wasn’t feeling well at the European Elections in May 2019 until a diagnosis of burnout in early 2020, about 8 months have passed. Marisa Matias associated symptoms such as increased anxiety, shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of control of arms and legs and insomnia to a neurological disease, not suspecting that the body was showing signs of exhaustion.

“I’ve always paid a lot of attention to mental health, but of other people. It’s always been an issue that I understood as a priority in my work, so one of the things I had the most difficulty dealing with was how I worked so much these issues… and in the first few months It never went through my mind that It might not be physical.

With the diagnosis came a certainty: the need to stop. For three months, which coincided with the strict confinement of Brussels due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the MEP did not deal with work-related issues. And the return was made gradually and guided by discipline and the imposition of rules on itself.

“The doctor immediately told me that I would have to stop altogether, that there was no alternative. I never even conceived, doing what I do, this possibility of stopping, but I realized I was wrong. I didn’t [a doença] identify it, but when I was diagnosed, I didn’t create any kind of barrier for myself. I have to deal with this, we’re going to deal with it.”

In a 40-minute conversation, Marisa Matias talks openly about the illness she had to face and what she had to do to overcome it. Not to be missed.

See the interview in full, now available on video:


To all who have agreed to share their story, our most sincere thank you.

Stay tuned for upcoming conversations! They will be available on our website and social networks.